WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie gave a group of Occupy protesters here a taste of his Jersey charm when they disrupted a rally he was headlining in support of presidential candidate Mitt Romney Wednesday night.
“You’re so angry, aren’t you?” Christie said, mocking the protesters to the delight of the crowd. “Work it all out. Work it all out for yourselves.”
Several minutes into his remarks at the headquarters of the Iowa-based Kum and Go business, at least a dozen protesters who blended into the audience wearing stickers for Romney’s presidential campaign began shouting phrases like, “Make Wall Street pay.”
“Chris Christie and Mitt Romney serve the corporate one percent,” a group of protesters yelled in unison as the crowd booed them down.
The protesters continued to yell a variety of phrases before being ushered out of the event.
“I hope you all enjoyed it. They’ll be working at the Marriott down the street. Please remember to tip your waiters and waitresses,” Christie said as the protesters left.
Romney was not in attendance at the event. After the protesters departed, Christie said to laughter: “Where was I before I was so New Jersey-ly interrupted?”
“Let’s talk about these folks for a second … their anger is rooted not in me or in Mitt Romney, their anger is rooted in the fact that they believed in this hope and change garbage that they were sold three years ago by this president,” he said.
Christie signed autographs as he took the stage to Kid Rock’s song “Born Free,” the new anthem for the Romney campaign. He gave remarks while standing in front of about 20 supporters holding Romney signs.
The New Jersey governor made several jokes about his “Jersey” background throughout the night.
“I love coming to Iowa,” he said. “And the reason I do is because even though I may sound a little different than all of you, I think we speak the same language. … We understand that our country is at a point of extraordinary crisis.”
Christie, who endorsed Romney this year after opting against a run of his own for president, went on to answer questions from those in the audience, getting laughs by warning those present that if they get hostile with him, he’ll get hostile with them back.
Questions he answered included whether he’s interested in serving on a ticket with Romney if he gets the nomination. “Do I look like someone’s vice president?” he said to laughter, going on to say, “I don’t think Gov. Romney would ask me.”
He also predicted that if Romney wins Iowa, he’ll go on to win the Republican nomination for president.
And referencing the protests before he left, he joked: “If there’s a Chris Christie appearance without a YouTube moment, we wouldn’t know what the heck to do.”